William Wragg has given an insight into what it’s like voting against your party as an MP.
Mr Wragg was recently listed, alongside fellow MPs Esther McVey and Charles Walker, as joint top of a list of most rebellious Tories on the website Conservative Home. The MPs each had 9 rebellions to their names in recent major votes.
Speaking to Chopper’s Politics Podcast, which you can listen to the audio player above, the MP for Hazel Grove spoke about feeling "physically sick" the first time he defied the whip, but that he encourages his colleagues to stick to their guns if they’ve decided to rebel.
"This first time rebelling is always very difficult… You have to run the gauntlet of strategically placed whips, and for very serious votes, they can also place ministers and indeed, on occasion, the Prime Minister. And so you have to be pretty determined you’re going to do it."
"But I’ve always said to colleagues, and the government whips office will clearly not appreciate this remark, that if you tell the government whips you’re going to vote in a different way, then you have to be absolutely sure that you do it. Because otherwise next time they’ll apply twice the pressure and think that you’ll fold in half the time. So I think it’s better that if you say you’re going to do something, you have to go through with it, no matter how difficult it might be."
When asked if his habit of crossing the lobby might have cost him his chance of ever being a government minister, Mr Wragg said "Oh, I hope so! I enjoy what I do as a backbencher, ploughing a furrow, however lonely it might be. If I was ever in a fanciful state to become a minister, I’d probably end up resigning about something far too quickly, and that would be a bit of a waste of time for all concerned wouldn’t it?"
Also in the episode, marine author Richard Johnstone-Bryden makes the case for a new Royal flagship, and the Telegraph’s political editor Ben Riley-Smith looks at the likelihood of a second referendum on Scottish independence.
Listen to Chopper’s Politics, The Telegraph’s weekly political podcast using the audio player above, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.